My New Exhibit

In my Digital History class, we were tasked with creating a digital exhibit for our final project. We were able to pick any historical topic we wanted and were told to create an exhibit centered around this topic. For this exhibit that can be found here, http://politicalhistorian.net/omeka/exhibits/show/pittsburgh-on-the-front-lines , I chose to examine the impact Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania had on World War II through manufacturing. In my exhibit, I chose to focus on manufacturing because Pittsburgh was a major source of steel, weapons, vehicles, and other manufactured goods for the war. I am going to touch on manufacturing in general in Pittsburgh as well as specific companies who were integral to war manufacturing. I also chose to look more closely at the women of Pittsburgh who worked to supply the war effort. I believe that, while my exhibit has come a long way since I first picked my topic, I still have some work to do. I currently have pages on women who were involved in manufacturing and a page on Rosie the Riveter, a piece of history that has special ties to Pittsburgh. In moving forward with creating my exhibit, I would like to explore more of the companies that made Pittsburgh the manufacturing hub that it was during the war and explore the goods that Pittsburgh was most famous for creating. I would also like to become more proficient at using the program ThingLink to create interactive pictures. I currently have one already on the exhibit, but I believe I could improve the picture I already have and create more interactive pictures that could make the exhibit more interesting to users.

Exploring Websites and Their Content

Last week in my Digital History class I chose to examine the National Parks website: http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/. This website is both an online archive and digital exhibit dedicated to giving information about the nation’s National Parks. This information includes historical information about the parks, biographies of the people involved in creating the National Parks, and primary source documents about the National Parks. The website was created and is maintained by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as a companion piece to Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

Overall, I believe this website is a good source of information for the general public and professionals alike. There is a good mixture of general information gathered from various sources that would suffice for anyone looking for some basic information on the National Parks and primary source documents that professionals could look to for information for a publication. I do not believe that they have crammed too much information onto the site and I believe that the information is well organized. One problem I have with the site is that to view a lot of the information on the site the computer you use to access the site needs to have Adobe Flash Player. This would likely not be a problem for people with a personal computer, but if someone is using a public computer they might not be able to install Flash Player.

I believe this site has several advantages over more analog sources of data. The website contains interactive features that books or articles do not. The website also contains information that a person would have to read several different books combined. Most books would likely not contain primary source documents, histories of the National Parks, and biographies of the people who helped create the National Parks all together.